Noontime’s Five D3 Football Teams to Watch in Week Six

Keegan Stanton-Meas and the University of New England football team will compete against Husson University on Saturday in the 2nd Annual Lobster Trap Game. (PHOTO COURTESY: David Bates Photo)

By NoontimeSports.com

We’re inching closer to the start of the sixth week of the New England NCAA Division III football season.

Before another busy few days of football begins, let’s highlight five teams to watch (and yes, follow).

Norwich University (2-3, 1-0 NEWMAC): After beginning their season with two-straight losses to Salve Regina University and St. Lawrence University, the Cadets have bounced back, winning two of three contests.

Norwich scored its first New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) win last Saturday by defeating Coast Guard Academy, 31-23.

The team’s second win of the 2022 season was highlighted by wide receiver Trevor Chase, who became the program’s all-time leader in touchdown receptions (24) when he cashed in on the team’s initial play with a 71-yard catch-and-run.

Chase concluded his team’s contest with the Bears with 12 catches for 185 yards and three touchdowns. The 185 receiving yards is the most he’s logged in a game this season.

Chase, along with quarterback Mitchell Theal, who tossed four touchdowns last week, will be two players to watch on Saturday when Norwich visits the United States Merchant Marine Academy.

Like Norwich, the Mariners won their initial conference meeting by defeating WPI, 41-14.

Salve Regina University (3-1, 0-0 CCC): The Seahawks were idle last weekend but will begin conference play this Saturday when they visit Curry College.

Salve Regina beat Curry last season, but this year’s Colonels squad is one nobody should overlook – the Purple and White were competitive last weekend against the University of New England.

The Seahawks have won three of four non-league tilts, but all four opponents presented unique challenges for coach Kevin Gilmartin’s squad that has had to lean on some players that are not named Joey Mauriello or Jack Maguire.

Jake Stack has been the player to watch under center – he has tossed four touchdowns in three contests while adding two scores on the ground. Justan Luzzi, a first-year tailback, leads the Salve Regina rushing attack with 121 yards on 26 carries. Josh Letellier, who is listed as a quarterback, leads the receiving core with 15 catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns.

Let’s see if the Seahawks’ early-season momentum can continue against Curry.

Springfield College (2-2, 0-0 NEWMAC): After a week away from the gridiron, the Pride return to the field this week when they visit Coast Guard Academy.

Springfield concluded its non-league schedule with a 49-7 victory over Husson University – the win was highlighted by three rushing touchdowns by Arsen Shtefan.

Quarterback David Wells was perfect against Husson, completing a pair of passes for 111 yards and one touchdown.

Springfield topped Coast Guard Academy last season by a score of 60-0 en route to winning their second NEWMAC crown since 2017.

The Pride concluded their previous meeting with the Bers by producing 548 yards of total offense on 74 plays. Springfield’s defense limited Coast Guard Academy to just 42 yards on 45 plays.

Tufts University (2-1, 2-1 NESCAC): Let’s not overlook this year’s Jumbos.

Tufts currently resides in a three-way tie for second place in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) standings with Colby College and Wesleyan University. They almost beat Trinity College in their season-opener – they kept the Bantams off the scoreboard in the second half – but have scored back-to-back wins over Bates College and Williams College.

Quarterback Michael Berluti tossed three second-half touchdowns against the Ephs to help Tufts edge last year’s conference champions. Berluti connected with Jaden Richardson for two touchdowns before locating Jackson Butler early in the fourth quarter to provide the visitors with a 35-21 lead (Williams did tack on one more score before last Saturday’s contest concluded).

In addition to Berluti’s impressive play, Tufts received a major momentum boost at the end of the first half when Victor Garza returned a blocked field goal.

The Jumbos will go for their third-straight win on Saturday when they host Bowdoin College for a 6:30 p.m. kickoff.

University of New England (3-1, 1-0 CCC): Like the Seahawks of Salve Regina, the Nor’easters have quietly produced a 3-1 record, including a 1-0 mark in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC).

UNE bounced back from a 34-31 setback to Gallaudet University last weekend with a 37-21 victory over Curry, thanks to quarterback Jarrett Henault, who tossed a season-best four touchdowns.

Will Peters led a defense that recorded three sacks – additionally, the Nor’easters limited the Colonels to 257 yards (4.4 yards per play) on 59 offensive plays.

In addition to Henault and Peters, UNE has received a major boost from linebacker Keegan Stanton-Meas, who leads the Nor’easters defense with 25.0 total tackles, including 20 solo stops.

UNE will visit Husson this weekend to compete in the 2nd Annual Lobster Trap Game, which the Eagles won last season. The Nor’easters’ last win over Husson came in 2019.

Noontime’s Eastern Massachusetts High School Football Teams of the Week (Oct. 3, 2022)

Tyler Yen and the Wellesley High School football team scored a 43-6 victory last Saturday over Newton North. (PHOTO: Matt Noonan/Noontime Sports)

By NoontimeSports.com

Four weeks of Massachusetts high school football is complete – that was fast!

And with it being Monday, it’s time to share our weekly Eastern Massachusetts teams of the week that enjoyed a successful outing last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday on the gridiron.

Noontime’s High School Football Teams of the Week (Oct. 3, 2022)

Bishop Fenwick: The Crusaders needed not one, but two extra sessions to defeat St. Mary’s last Friday in what could help Bishop Fenwick accomplish its goal of winning the Catholic Central Large crown. Anthony Nichols clinched the win in the second overtime while Bryce Leaman recorded three touchdowns (two passing and one rushing) in his team’s fourth win of the season. Bishop Fenwick will host Cardinal Spellman on Friday.

Dover-Sherborn: Michael Polk rushed for a pair of touchdowns while Garrett Webb connected with Henry Moore for a 60-yard touchdown in the second quarter as the Raiders topped Dedham in its initial Tri-Valley League (TVL) Small matchup. With the win, D-S becomes the first TVL squad to win four contests. The Raiders host Bellingham on Saturday.

Malden: For the second-straight week, the Golden Tornadoes joined our list – Malden is currently one of four Greater Boston League (GBL) squads with a 2-0 league record. The Navy Blue and Gold capped the opening month of the season with a 44-12 victory over Somerville, thanks to Mak Blaise, who rushed for three scores, including a pair in the opening quarter. Malden faces a challenging week five test against Lynn Classical.

Milton: The Wildcats scored an impressive – and yes, hard-fought win last Friday, beating Walpole, 28-14, in a game that featured two 3-0 Bay State Conference (BSC) squads. Owen McHugh recorded three touchdowns in the win – two through the air and one on the ground to provide the Red and White with some additional momentum for this week’s meeting with Weymouth.

Nashoba Valley Tech: Coach Danny Kelly’s squad picked up its fourth-straight win, including a Commonwealth Small victory over Georgetown last Friday, thanks to Connor Buchmann, who rushed for 180 yards and three touchdowns. Through four contests, Buchmann has rushed for more than 500 yards and six touchdowns. The Vikings will entertain Lynn Tech on Friday.   

Needham: Make it back-to-back wins for the Rockets as halfback Tate Hoffmeister continued his early-season success by registering three touchdowns in a 28-7 victory over Weymouth. Needham will attempt to win its third-straight contest on Friday when they visit Braintree.

North Reading: The Hornets’ winning ways continued last Friday as North Reading cruised past Ipswich, 48-6. Alex Carucci tossed two touchdowns in the win while rushing for a pair of one-yard scores in the opening quarter. North Reading will attempt to win its third-straight Cape Ann contest on Friday when they host Triton.

Revere: The Patriots scored their second-straight win, downing Lynn English, 47-0, last Friday to even their record at 2-2. Last Friday’s win was Revere’s second-straight GBL victory, which was highlighted by a pair of touchdown passes from Carlos Rizo. Maykin Gonzalez rushed for two touchdowns in the win. Revere visits Everett on Friday.

Wellesley: After dropping a heartbreaker one week earlier to Walpole, the Raiders bounced back with a big win last Saturday over Newton North. Tyler Yen and Tom Burton combined for five first-half touchdowns against the Tigers. Wellesley visits Natick on Thursday for an important Bay State Conference (BSC) meeting.  

Westwood: After surrendering a late touchdown in week three to Quincy, the Wolverines bounced back with a 48-21 victory over Medway last Thursday. Brendan Donegan tossed five touchdowns in the win while Tommy Kane recorded three catches for 113 yards and two touchdowns. Westwood begins Tri-Valley League (TVL) Large play this week against Medfield.  

Noontime’s New England D3 Football Top 10 (Oct. 3, 2022)

Michael Berluti and the Tufts University football team have scored back-to-back wins since beginning their season with a 26-23 setback to Trinity College. (PHOTO COURTESY: Tufts University Athletics)

By NoontimeSports.com

The fifth week of the New England NCAA Division III football season has concluded, which means it is time to share this week’s Top 10 Poll.

This week, we did not have too much movement, but did, however, welcome two new teams to our weekly 10-team poll: Tufts University and Western New England.

Endicott College remains the top team, thanks to both its rushing attack and defense, while UMass Dartmouth and Springfield College secured the second and third position, respectively, for the second-straight week.

Anna Maria College and Coast Guard Academy left the poll, but remain two teams to watch — the same could be said for Bridgewater State, a squad that has won back-to-back conference games after falling to Plymouth State last month.

Noontime’s Top 10 Poll: Monday, October 3, 2022 (Week Six)

1. Endicott College (5-0, 1-0 CCC) (LW: No. 1): For the third time this season, the Gulls pitched a shutout, thanks to a defensive unit that is tied with Washington & Jefferson for second in NCAA Division III with 22.0 total sacks.

2. UMass Dartmouth (4-1, 3-0 MASCAC) (LW: No. 2): Quarterback Dante Aviles-Santos was the player to watch last Friday as the junior signal-caller tossed six touchdowns against Western Connecticut. He enters the sixth week of the season ranked second in NCAA Division III with 19 touchdown passes.

3. Springfield College (2-2, 0-0 NEWMAC) (LW: No. 3): Springfield was idle this past weekend ahead but should be well-rested for their initial New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) clash with Coast Guard Academy.

4. Trinity College (3-0, 3-0 NESCAC) (LW: No. 4): The Bantams remain in the fourth position for the second-straight week after securing its third-straight win over Amherst College. Brian Casagrande and Noah Glantz highlighted the team’s third win as the duo combined for eight solo tackles, including three tackles for a loss of 15 yards.

5. Salve Regina University (3-1, 0-0 CCC) (LW: No. 5): Coach Kevin Gilmartin’s squad returns from its bye week with a challenging stretch of games, beginning this weekend against Curry College.

6. Middlebury College (3-0, 3-0 NESCAC) (LW: No. 6): Middlebury erased an early 10-0 setback by scoring 20-straight points, including 14 in the second quarter to score a hard-fought win over Bowdoin College. Donovan Wood highlighted the team’s third win by catching four passes for a game-high 88 yards.

7. Wesleyan University (2-1, 2-1 NESCAC) (LW: No. 7): The Cardinals returned to the win column last Saturday with a 49-14 win over Hamilton College. Wesleyan hosts Colby College on Saturday in a battle of 2-1 teams.

8. Plymouth State (4-0, 2-0 MASCAC) (LW: No. 8): Manny Sanchez’s six-yard touchdown in the third quarter helped the Panthers score an important road win last Saturday against Framingham State. Plymouth State is off to its best start since beginning its 2016 campaign with four-straight wins.

9. Western New England (2-3, 1-0 CCC) (LW: NR): The Golden Bears return to the poll after scoring its first conference win of the season. Despite losing three of four non-league tilts, it’s hard to overlook Western New England, which should be in the mix for the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) crown.   

10. Tufts University (2-1, 2-1 NESCAC) (LW: NR): The Jumbos earned the final spot on this week’s poll after clinching an exciting seven-point (35-28) win over Williams College last Saturday. Quarterback Michael Berluti was quite impressive against the Ephs, completing 28 of 33 passes for 402 yards and four touchdowns.

On the Rise: Anna Maria College (2-2, 0-1 ECFC), Bridgewater State (2-3, 2-1 MASCAC), Colby College (2-1, 2-1 NESCAC), Norwich University (2-3, 1-0 NEWMAC), and University of New England (3-1, 1-0 CCC)

Taking Stock of Four Weeks of New England D3 Football

Dante Aviles-Santos and the UMass Dartmouth football team currently sit atop the MASCAC standings after four weeks. (PHOTO COURTESY: Jared Marshall/UMass Dartmouth Athletics)

By Matt Noonan

Four weeks of the New England NCAA Division III football season are complete.

The fifth week begins this evening with two teams competing under the lights: Western Connecticut and UMass Dartmouth.

Before we kick off another weekend of college football, let’s check in all five conferences, as well as highlight a few teams (and storylines) to watch, both this weekend and over the next few weeks.  


Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC)

Current Leader: Endicott College (4-0, 0-0 CCC)

The surprise team: Nichols College (3-1, 0-0)

Thoughts on the CCC: As of now, Endicott College appears to be the front-runner, but we should know more about this conference after both this weekend and next weekend with league play beginning tomorrow. The Gulls’ defense, which has yielded just 20 points through four contests, will certainly be challenged against Husson University, as well as when they compete against Nichols College and the University of New England in early October. The Bison of Nichols can solidify themselves as a contender by scoring a week five win over Western New England, which is looking to bounce back from a 35-0 setback to Salisbury University. The Golden Bears have not lost to Nichols since 2006 – additionally, Nichols has not beaten Western New England in Springfield since 2003.


Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC)

Current Leaders: Anna Maria College (2-1, 0-0 ECFC) and Gallaudet University (2-1, 0-0 ECFC)

The surprise team: Alfred State (2-2, 0-0 ECFC)

Thoughts on the ECFC: Like the CCC, ECFC play commences this weekend with some enticing matchups, including Anna Maria hosting Alfred State to Gallaudet visiting Keystone College. Anna Maria remains the favorite to win the league crown, despite losing last weekend to Coast Guard Academy. The AMCATs can take a step toward winning its second-straight ECFC title on Saturday by beating Alfred State, a squad they have beaten in back-to-back meetings. The Pioneers enter the contest with two wins and two losses – to be honest, I thought this team would have at least three wins by the fifth week, especially with so many returners back from last season. But while all eyes will be on Alfred State and Anna Maria, don’t overlook Gallaudet, which scored an impressive week three win over UNE, thanks to quarterback Brandon Washington. The Bison did commit eight penalties in their three-point win over the Nor’easters, which is something they cannot do in future contests. Keep your eyes on Dean College this weekend as the Bulldogs will aim to provide first-year coach Andrae Murphy with his first win when they visit Castleton University.    


Willie Lombard and the Plymouth State football team visit Framingham State in an important week five contest. (PHOTO COURTESY: Kim Bownes/Plymouth State University Athletics)

Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC)

Current Leader: UMass Dartmouth (3-1, 2-0 MASCAC)

The surprise team: Western Connecticut (2-2, 1-1 MASCAC)

Thoughts on the MASCAC: Following their week one win over Husson, I was ready to anoint the Corsairs of UMass Dartmouth as the “team to beat.” One week later, they suffered a disappointing setback to Anna Maria, which provided an opportunity for Framingham State and Western Connecticut to catch up. In week three, UMass Dartmouth scored its first win against the Rams of Framingham since 2016, which was followed by a week four win against Worcester State. Tonight, they can truly solidify themselves as the front-runner with a win over the Wolves of Western Connecticut. The Wolves are looking to bounce back from their week four setback to Bridgewater State. Plymouth State is also a team MASCAC football fans should keep an eye on. They were idol last week after starting their 2022 campaign with three-straight wins. They visit Framingham State tomorrow. A win for the Rams over the Panthers could provide the Black and Gold with some much-needed momentum heading into upcoming contests with Fitchburg State and Western Connecticut. All in all, it’s hard to pick a clear favorite after four weeks.  


New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC)

Current Leaders: Middlebury College (2-0, 2-0 NESCAC) and Trinity College (2-0, 2-0 NESCAC)

The surprise team: Bowdoin College (1-1, 1-1 NESCAC)

Thoughts on the NESCAC: Entering the third week of the NESCAC season, Middlebury and Trinity appear to be the teams to watch – to be honest, I did not anticipate Middlebury being a front-runner after two weeks, but their recent win over Wesleyan University proves we cannot overlook this squad. The Panthers’ defense has allowed the fewest points amongst all NESCAC teams with 16 while Tufts University leads the conference with 58 points scored. Tufts, like Middlebury, is not a team to overlook as they rolled past Bates College last weekend and almost beat Trinity in their season-opener. Bowdoin has been a pleasant surprise – they scored a big opening day win against Hamilton College but suffered its first setback last weekend to Williams College. Bowdoin hosts Middlebury on Saturday – perhaps they bounce back against the Panthers? Through two weeks, Middlebury and Trinity are clearly the teams to beat — or watch? — but don’t overlook Tufts and Colby College. Maybe we shouldn’t rule out Williams?


New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC)

Current Leaders: Merchant Marine (2-1, 0-0 NEWMAC) and MIT (2-1, 0-0 NEWMAC)

The surprise team: Coast Guard Academy (2-2, 0-0 NEWMAC)

Thoughts on the NEWMAC: I’ll be honest, I didn’t think MIT or Merchant Marine would be leading the NEWMAC after four weeks. Yet, they are, which means we should be in for an interesting few weeks of conference play. MIT hosts Catholic University on Saturday – the Cardinals have yet to crack the win column since week one when they beat McDaniel College. Catholic beat MIT last year but fell to the Engineers two years earlier. Both contests were held in Washington, DC. Merchant Marine will attempt to win its third contest of the season against a WPI squad that enters NEWMAC play with two wins and two losses. Maybe we shouldn’t overlook the Engineers of Worcester? Coast Guard Academy appears to be a team to watch, thanks to halfback Spencer McMillion, who leads all D-III rushers with 653 rushing yards through four weeks. McMillion has rushed for 11 touchdowns — I expect his early-season success to continue against Norwich University on Saturday. Springfield College is idol this weekend after concluding its non-conference schedule with a big win over Husson. They won the NEWMAC last year and will certainly be well-rested for next week’s initial conference meeting with the Bears of Coast Guard.

New England D3 Football: 10 Games to Watch in Week Five

Hector Johnson and the Endicott College defense have been a unit to watch in New England NCAA Division III football this season. (PHOTO COURTESY: Tammy McManaway Sports Photography)

By NoontimeSports.com

Another busy weekend of New England NCAA Division III football has arrived – let’s celebrate.

Last week, we picked seven games correctly to bump our overall record to 26-14 through four weeks.

Let’s dish out our 10 Games to Watch (and yes, predictions, too) for another busy weekend of football. As usual, make sure to circle back throughout the weekend for additional blog posts on Massachusetts (and New England) college and high school football.

Enjoy the games, everyone!

Noontime’s D3 Football Games to Watch: Week Five

Western Connecticut at UMass Dartmouth (Friday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m.): The Corsairs can solidify themselves as the “team to beat” in the MASCAC with a win over the Wolves on Friday evening. PREDICTION: UMass Dartmouth over Western Conn.

Plymouth State at Framingham State (Saturday, Oct. 1 at 12 p.m.): The Panthers return to the gridiron following an early bye week with hopes of continuing their early-season momentum against a Rams squad that evened their record at 2-2 last week with a three-point win over Westfield State. PREDICTION: Framingham State over Plymouth State

Husson University at Endicott College (Saturday, Oct. 1 at 12 p.m.): It would be hard to pick against a Gulls squad that is off to its best start since 2011, thanks to its defense. Look for the Endicott defense to shine once again for a fifth-straight week. PREDICTION: Endicott over Husson

Nichols College at Western New England (Saturday, Oct. 1 at 1 p.m.): Nichols’ impressive start came to a screeching halt last week with an eight-point setback to Hartwick College. Can they rebound this week against a Golden Bears squad that captured just one of its four non-league tilts? We’ll have to see – Nichols has not beaten Western New England since 2006 when they topped the Golden Bears in Dudley. PREDICTION: Nichols over Western New England

Curry College at University of New England (Saturday, Oct. 1 at 1 p.m.): Curry has received a major boost from first-year halfback Montie Quinn, who rushed for a game-high 171 yards and four touchdowns last Saturday in the Colonels’ second win of the season. Quinn faces a UNE defense that struggled to slow down Brandon Washington and Gallaudet University earlier this month. PREDICTION: Curry over UNE

Catholic University at MIT (Saturday, Oct. 1 at 1 p.m.): The Engineers are one of two teams in the NEWMAC with a 2-1 overall record. On Saturday, look for MIT to win its third contest of the season – its first conference game, to be exact, against a Cardinals squad that has lost three-straight contests. PREDICTION: MIT over Catholic

Middlebury College at Bowdoin College (Saturday, Oct. 1 at 1 p.m.): The Panthers have been a pleasant surprise this season, winning back-to-back games over Amherst College and Wesleyan University. Look for the Navy Blue and White’s early-season momentum to continue against the Polar Bears. PREDICTION: Middlebury over Bowdoin

Alfred State at Anna Maria College (Saturday, Oct. 1 at 1:30 p.m.): Conference play begins for the AMCATs after finishing their non-conference slate with two wins and one loss. Their lone setback occurred last Saturday against Coast Guard Academy, which produced 66 points against an Anna Maria squad that had yielded 62 points in its first two contests. PREDICTION: Anna Maria over Alfred State    

Fitchburg State at Bridgewater State (Saturday, Oct. 1 at 4 p.m.): The Bears snapped their three-game losing streak last week with a much-needed win over Western Connecticut. Look for another big game this week from halfback Adam Couch. PREDICTION: Bridgewater State over Fitchburg State  

Bates College at Colby College (Saturday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m.): After dropping its first contest of the 2022 season last Saturday to Trinity College, look for the Mules to bounce back against the Bobcats under the lights on Saturday. PREDICTION: Colby over Bates